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Appliance trackers help police find suspects who stole from new home constructions

Police say the area has been prone to burglaries which has prompted tracking systems inside of appliances such as cabinets and fridges.

SAN ANTONIO — Police responded to reports of people burglarizing new home construction sites and stealing new appliances in southwest San Antonio Wednesday.

Officers were called out to Loop 410 and Old Pearsall Road. Police say the area has been prone to burglaries which has prompted tracking systems inside of appliances such as cabinets and fridges.

SAPD Public Information Officer Nick Soliz said, "It was a good amount. "It was often enough to where our South Property Crime Detectives decided that this property needed trackers."

At 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, one of those trackers was reported as on the move and traced to a motel in the 3800 block of SW Military Drive.

That's where police found a man walking from a stolen U-Haul and meeting another man in a Gold Yukon, which was also stolen. The driver of the Yukon took off as police approached the motel.

Ernest Morales, 41, was arrested after police say he admitted to stealing.

The driver of the Yukon returned to the motel moments later and police pursued it. Police say Eddie Alvarez, 39, jumped out of the Yukon and was also arrested.

Joby Gray owns Friendly Security, INC in San Antonio. Gray said new developments are lucrative for thieves.

"It is an easy target," he said. "These criminals know there is no permanent power to the location. Most likely not a security system installed."

Gray admits he has never heard of trackers placed on appliances. However, he said it is likely similar to a tracker put on a car. Gray has worked on development projects and installed a video verification system. It captures criminals in the act and alerts a monitoring company, in San Antonio, which then alerts police. The 'silent' system works off just a cell connection and batteries.

"We don't want to run the burglars off with sirens and lights," he said. "We almost want to kind of welcome them, come on in and take your time. They don't know the police is being dispatched while they are on the property."

Just last week KENS 5 showed video at a King William home. Crooks got away with multiple appliances including a fridge. There is a possible connection between this case, and the one from Wednesday and it's a gold Yukon. Police said that type of SUV was at both crime scenes. And on Wednesday someone in the driver's seat got away. KENS 5 asked SAPD if these could be the same suspects or if there is a connection, police told us they are investigating.

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